Excise department officers say the accused would buy empty bottles of expensive liquor from scrap dealers and fill them up with cheap liquor
Excise officers with the seized liquor that included over 350 bottles of duplicate scotch
The Maharashtra State Excise Department has seized duplicate liquor worth Rs 1 crore in the past one week. Officers said the liquor was being smuggled for Christmas and New Year parties.
In view of the celebrations on Christmas and December 31, State Excise Department Commissioner Kantilal Umap ordered action against any smuggler. The officers arrested one Sanjay Bhojaiya from Chembur on December 16 and seized 17 bottles of scotch. During questioning, the name of one Mandar Pingale came up and the officers seized another 348 bottles of scotch from him. The cost of one duplicated scotch is Rs 22,04,192.
Pingale gave the name of one Uttampuri Goswami from Kopar Khairane and confiscated from him duplicate foreign liquor worth Rs 5.88 lakh. Scotch was also seized from Malad. Another person was arrested from Chembur with duplicate foreign scotch worth R83,200. The department also seized fake scotch worth Rs 65 lakh.
Officer said that smugglers buy empty bottles of expensive liquor from scrap dealers and fill them up with cheap liquor bought from Delhi and West Bengal. The seized duplicate liquor include Antiquity Blue, Chivas Regal, Red Label and Blenders Pride. They then sell the liquor at a price slightly lower than the MRP, claiming there-s an offer, officers added.
An officer told mid-day, "In December, the department has registered a total of 196 cases and arrested 174 people, and also seized 19 vehicles."
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Umap said, "Authorities have been told to crack down on illegal liquor smuggling between December 25 and December 31. Action will be taken against the smugglers in accordance with the deportation and Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities MPDA Act."
No. of people arrested in December
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